My son (6) is having terrible tantrums. They will last all afternoon he is very cross throws things, nips, bites, scratches, he goes red in the face and growls with his teeth together all because he doesn't like what you say.He has low selfasteam to the point of it affecting school work as he is scared to try in case of failure he always says he can't do somthing or he is stupid no-one has ever told him that. He struggles at school accademicly and socially and doesn't really have any friends, he is terrified to go to parties (there is no bullying). he has frequent nightmares where he wakes screaming and sweating so bad he has to change pyjamas and sometimes sheets, he wets the bed occasionally too. I don't know what to do to help him or if I should seak professional help
Please help Ree xx
It can be the slightest thing like no you can't have sweets but he would react the same to something like don't push your sister down the stairs. It doesn't have to be about being told off though he may not want to go out or do something or doesn't want to do his homework etc
As margypops said, we really need more information. But the one part that stands out and bothers me is when you said, "terrible tantrums. They will last all afternoon." That is one of the symptoms of being bipolar. Many of his symptoms also suggest being ADHD. Below I have pasted a list of differences between bipolar and ADHD. They were sent to me by a fellow member and were written by Dr. Popper.
The one thought I definitely had from your brief description is that he needs professional help - and fast! Don't go to your pediatrician (except maybe for a referral), seek out a pediatric psychiatrist. Best wishes!!
Sent by gjayme31 Oct 05, 2010 02:27AM
This is a list of the differences between ADHD and Bipolar because they are very similar:
1. Destructiveness may be seen in both disorders but differs in origin. Children who are ADHD often break things carelessly while playing (“non-angry destructiveness”), whereas the major destructiveness of children who are bipolar is not a result of carelessness but tends to occur in anger. Children who are bipolar may exhibit severe temper tantrums during which they release manic quantities of physical and emotional energy, sometimes with violence and physical property destruction. They may even exhibit openly sadistic impulses.
2. The duration and intensity of physical outbursts and temper tantrums differs in the two disorders. Children who are ADHD usually calm down in twenty to thirty minutes, whereas children who are bipolar may continue to feel and act angry for up to four hours.
3. The degree of “regression” during angry episodes is typically more severe for children who are bipolar. It is rare to see an angry child who is ADHD display disorganized thinking, language, and body position, all of which may be seen in angry bipolar children during a tantrum. Children who are bipolar may also lose memory of the tantrum.
4. The “trigger” for temper tantrums is also different. Children who have ADHD are typically triggered by sensory and emotional over stimulation, whereas children who have bipolar disorder typically react to limit-setting, such as a parental “no.”
5. Disturbances during sleep in children with bipolar disorder include severe nightmares or night terrors often with themes of explicit gore and bodily mutilation.
6. Children who are bipolar often show giftedness in certain cognitive functions, especially verbal and artistic skills (perhaps with verbal precocity and punning by age two to three years).
7. The misbehavior in children with ADHD is often accidental and usually caused by oblivious inattention, whereas children with bipolar disorders intentionally provoke or misbehave. Some bipolar children are described as “the bully on the playground.”
8. The child with ADHD may engage in behavior that can lead to harmful consequences without being aware of the danger, whereas the child with bipolar disorder is risk seeking.
9. Bipolar children tend to have a strong early sexual interest and behavior.
10. Children with ADHD usually do not exhibit psychotic symptoms or reveal a loss of contact with reality, whereas children with bipolar disorder may exhibit gross distortions in the perception of reality or in the interpretation of emotional events.
There are 3 levels of bipolar. Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymia. Lithium is usually used to treat bipolar because it treats depression and mania but it cannot be given to a child under 12. I have never used drugs. If a child is hyper I use the adkins diet as it will bring a hyper person down within a week. Pure protein and dairy. The will be lethargic by week 2 but I usually keep it going for a month. Stimulants are good for treating depression. Its only dangerous for mania because when a person is in mania they are secreting large amounts of adrenaline and endorpines and they are stimulants. When a stimulant is added you get kids that can't ever sleep and they will develop psychotic symptoms quick.
Oh BTW let parents know that even if its ADHD or bipolar any cough syrup or flu medication over the counter will triple symptoms. All of them state under warnings do not use if you have a psychiatric condition. I use thyme to treat sinus congestion, hey fever and sore throat. Oregano is a heavy seditive and sometimes I use chamomile teas.
If his sister is younger there could be some jealousy issues and he has found that by yelling he gets the attention he seeks even if its negative attention,but I would say if the tantrums are extreme and it sounds as if they are it may be a good idea to speak to your Doctor in case something else is going on .
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